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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

Punjab, Haryana want Chandigarh as capital but don’t want to contribute for its development: HC

HC observation came in the backdrop of HC finding that even as huge traffic from both states was entering Chandigarh, they had not been coming forward to deal with the city’s traffic problem.

chandigarh Updated: Dec 04, 2019 09:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
HC observation came during the resumed hearing of a 2009 petition on drying up of Sukhna Lake
HC observation came during the resumed hearing of a 2009 petition on drying up of Sukhna Lake(HT FILE PHOTO)
         

In a scathing indictment, the high court on Monday said Punjab and Haryana wanted to keep Chandigarh as their capital, but did not want to contribute towards its development.

The observation from the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) bench of chief justice RS Jha and justice Rajiv Sharma came during the resumed hearing of a 2009 petition on drying up of Sukhna Lake.

It comes in the backdrop of HC finding that even as huge traffic from both states was entering Chandigarh, they had not been coming forward to deal with the city’s traffic problem.

Also during the hearing on Monday, Punjab told HC that the wetland notification, which regulated certain kinds of activities in Sukhna catchment area, was restricted to the area falling within UT, while the areas falling under Punjab will be governed by the Master Plan notified by GMADA.

On the other hand, UT maintained that the Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules applied to areas, in the 10km radius around lake, in Punjab and Haryana too.

Haryana submitted that no construction was taking place in areas falling under its jurisdiction. Punjab, too, claimed that it had not been sanctioning plans for construction since 2012.

But it maintained that since 2013, it had been writing to the Centre for clarification on status of the area, but had received no response. To this, the court observed that the Supreme Court order in the Tata Camelot project made it clear that in the 10km area around the lake, various activities were to be regulated.

Senior advocate ML Sarin pointed out that despite HC orders, construction activities had been going on in active connivance of local administration in the area falling under Punjab.

Meanwhile, UT’s former senior standing counsel Sanjay Kaushal, appearing for some Kansal residents, withdrew from the case. The residents had challenged demolition notices slapped by UT administration.

Earlier, the bench had questioned him how he took residents’ case when as UT’s law officer, he had been appearing from administration’s side in the same controversy. The hearing on the matter has now been deferred for Thursday.

‘WON’T ALLOW HC CONSTRUCTION SUKHNA’

When during hearing Kaushal pointed out that the proposed construction for HC extension, under which new blocks were to come up, is also in the Sukhna catchment area, the bench remarked that it will ask Punjab and Haryana to set up the benches elsewhere, but won’t allow the construction.